Saturday, May 31, 2008

all I want

I have fallen in love with the Crockpot Lady and am so impressed with her. She makes something in her crockpot everyday...from soups to roasts to desserts to jam. Impressive. I like to cook, so I thought I would look around for some other food blogs. I thought I might be able to glean some new recipes without having to get a cookbook or another magazine subscription. I use Food Network and a couple other recipe search engines if I am looking for something specific, but I like to read blogs and Steph does a great job writing about her crockpot meals. She even gives a Verdict at the end and tells you whether her kids ate it, or if it needed more salt and such.

Here is the problem. I have spent about an hour looking at various sites, and I only found two to bookmark. The rest are all so COMMERCIALized and have adds everywhere. Now, I don't mind if you have an add or two, but a blog should look like a blog...not a website. Not with seven adds before you even see the post title. Not with an add above your header. And you should definetly post the recipe you are talking about...not just tease the poor readers with pictures and then leave them to figure it out.

So, if you read any good food blogs that I might enjoy, please comment and leave me the link. There were two that I found that I liked and I added one to my link list. Closet Cooking is a really good blog with a guy from Canada cookin' his heart out. He tries some thing that I might not be interested in, but the recipes are there, the blog is simple, and the recipes are catagorized on the sidebar so I can explore. Check him out along with the Crockpotting Steph. They are both in my link list.
And, if you have a good recipe to share, use the email link and send it to me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

told you so...

Several of you asked for a pic of the island in the kitchen and here they are. I love cooking on it now and last night I was so happy to being facing my husband in the den instead of having my back to him while I was chopping my veggies. So much easier and it adds so much to the space.

Here is my husband with our dog Phoebe. It says in my "roots" section that I could knit a sweater with the dog hair we collect, and I wasn't telling no lie. See exhibit A.
Phoebe is a Husky-Lab mix and she sheds. Sheds buckets, er, blankets. This time of year her winter coat is coming off and you can grab handfuls of it when you pet her. Charlie decided to brush and vacuum her and I grabbed the camera.
She was actually being a really patient girl while Charlie brushed her. The downy stuff was justing floating off her and she looked so cute...surrounded by a cloud.
This is the pile that we had when he stopped. It is about 3 feet wide and 2 feet across and a couple inches deep in the middle. So soft.

Well, now that you have seen a good thing, and a scary many of ya want to come over and play?

I promise, we vacuumed after this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a little late night therapy

Do you ever wonder where this need to be liked comes from? I mean, who was it that taught us that we need to look to other people for our affirmation? Did someone program this in us when we were children? I know my mom didn't sit me down and say "you'll only know if you're really worth something if you have 20 friends and a husband by the time you're 30." She didn't, and I bet your mom didn't tell you that either.

Our parents encouraged us, loved us, taught us, and shooed us from the nest. Mine taught me to grow up and leave home and have my own life. They knew that's how it's supposed to be. That children should be independent, self-sufficient, and capable of contributing to the world. My mom and dad gave me all the tools I need to be an adult, to manage my life and change a tire. I am prepared.

So why is it that my self worth is wrapped up in what my boss thinks, what the teacher down the hall thinks, if I'm skinny, if I'm the craftiest, the prettiest, the smartest, the girl with the best blog and millions of comments? Why do I seek the approval of all these people? Who do I need to answer to?

Only one man.

And that isn't my husband. It's Jesus.

My savior who sees the real girl inside who hurts. The one who knows me better than anyone else and loves me for being that person. A friend who never turns His back and is there in the trouble. In the midst.

His is the only approval I need to seek. How freeing is that? I mean, don't you see how liberating that is? To not have to stress about those people in your life that really don't matter? Listen, I'm not telling you to be rude or unkind. I'm telling you that God isn't counting how many friends I have, or looking at the score from my SATs. He isn't checking to see how you liked my island that I worked on, or disappointed that I only got 9 comments so far (threw that in for a little humor!). He knows that I was faithful, frugal, careful and using my talents when I worked on that project. He knows that I am polite, friendly, eager, talented and honest. He also knows that I am gossipy, nosey, prideful and infertile, and hey, we're working on those things. Together.

I pray that I can live my life confident in who I am, and just let the rest slide away. Who am I to needlessly burden myself with things I can't change anyway? I want to be the kind of person who let's His love shine through my actions. I shouldn't be any less, and I can certainly be more.

Who do you want to be?

Monday, May 26, 2008

one huge and pretty project

Remember this? I showed you my kitchen several months ago. We had remodeled and worked so hard on it and it looked fabulous...except for the furniture piece in the middle. I told you that we planned to refinish it, well, this week we did it.

Here it is in it's original state. It was brown stained and had a wine rack. The side with my blender had a shelf, but we took it out to fit stuff in. We never figured out what to do with the wine rack, cause we don't drink, so that was wasted space.

The top was also too low for me to really do any work on. I rarely used it, except to serve stuff. But we found this old butcher block piece at a builder's discard place and I snapped it up. Now, this thing weighs almost 150lbs, and takes two men to move it. It has been sitting in my laundry room for almost a year, until we found something to put it on. But we found the little island in December. Not a good month for refinishing things outside, so we waited until now. Trip #1 to Home Depot for the paint (and we locked ourselves out of the house).

We were going to sand it down, but in the end it need to be stripped. Trip #2 to Home Depot for stripper. The hubby bought some nasty smelling stuff and sprayed it on. The little white patch at the top is our test spot to see if it was taking the poly off. Yes!

We sanded the base a little so that it would be able to take paint. We could have stripped this too, but that would have taken FOREVER, so we just sanded the top layer of stain down. We also removed the wine rack, and I found the shelf that we originally took out.

Here is the man with his power sander. He was really excited to finally be able to use his power tools that I got him for Christmas. Stupid thing doesn't come with sand paper, though. Trip #3 to Home Depot for sand paper.

So we moved it back inside to paint. I used two coats of primer and just sat and listened to music while I painted. Like my fancy dropcloth? An old sheet with flowers. Oh, I painted one coat, and then hubby painted the second coat. He noticed that while we were pounding out the wine rack, we loosened the side panel. Trip #4 to Home Depot for the right tool to put it back together.

Two coats of WildHoney Paint from Behr. Looking good, right? Then I mixed some of the leftover Chocolate Sprinkle paint I had leftover from my door project with some water and did a faux finish. I painted it on with a brush and wiped it off with a paper towel. Easy peasy. The hard part was lifting the block on top of the base. My FIL and hubby huffed and puffed and got it on there. They even got out the tape measure and made sure it was centered.

Trip #5 to the hardware store was actually to Lowes to get a pretty applique for the front. I found a really cool one for $6 and painted it up like the base and hot glued it on. Makes it look all French country and fancy, right? We put the shelf back in and I put my big appliances in it.

I can't tell you how excited I am about how it turned out. I made brownies on it this morning and it was so nice not to be facing the wall to prep cook. I hate looking at my cabinets while I chop things.

So, this is pretty much what I spent last week doing. I am so proud that it turned out the way I imagined it. Not just ok, or average, but exactly the look I was going for when I dreamed all this up. And- if I can do it, you can do it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indy Spoilers....and my new love for Iron Man

If you are thinking about going to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-DON'T. It was horrible. SO horrible. All I have to say is one word: ALIENS.

Yup, you got that right. Aliens. Aliens in the Amazon with Indiana Jones...who most people in the movie call Henry. I couldn't even believe it when they pulled out the skull and it was shaped like what you would imagine any alien skull would be shaped like. I kept saying to myself "please no aliens, please no aliens" but there it was: Aliens. And their spaceship.
Oh, and there's more. Indy survived a nuclear bomb in the first 10 minutes. Seriously. He was accidentally in a test site, hid in a refrigerator and survived. The rest of the town was obliterated into dust, but the refrigerator was thrown sky high and bounced around some and then Indy walked away fine.

But, there was a highlight to my day. We had a double feature, and saw Iron Man next. Now, that was the movie of the spring. It should make tons of money and should spawn many sequels. It is well-written, well-acted, and so cool. The toys and technology and humor in the movie are so sleek and fun. Robert Downey Jr. is excellent in this movie. He and Gwyneth Paltrow are so fun together and he has two robot friends that are amusing.

I now have renewed my crush on Robert Downey Jr. I had one along time ago when he was on Ally McBeal and was so McDreamy. I think he might have been the original McDreamy, if it hadn't been for the drug problem. But now I am free to love him again because he is cleaned up and saving the world from terrorists. And all muscle-y and looking good in the red suit.

I guess the best part of the day was that my husband and I spent the whole day together. We started with some quiet time in the morning, went to a movie, shopped around a little, had lunch, and then went to another movie. We shopped, ate, laughed, and held hands. It was a really nice day. Have I mentioned that my husband is the sweetest man? He really is. He doesn't mind my boyfriend David Cook or my crush on Robert Downey Jr. He is secure in my love for him and our small family.

Saturday was the best day for me...maybe notsomuch for Indy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

i see dead people

I know that saying is a little old school, but today I discovered Ghost Whisperer. With nothing to do on a Friday night after I painted a faux glaze on the kitchen island, I turned on the TV. I looked around a little on the guide and saw Ghost Whisperer. I knew it had Jennifer Love Hewitt in it, and then I discovered a few other people are in it that I recognize. One lady from the Practice, Ayisha Tyler from Friends, and David Conrad (from a little known show called Relativity.) Now, I found Jennifer Love to be a little whiny on Party of Five, but I did really like that show. And she has really grown up into a great actress on TV.

Ok, it's time to share a little talent I have. I have a knack for remembering actors and actresses on TV. I can see a person on a show and connect the dots to where I have seen them before. Kinda like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Sometimes this talent drives my husband crazy, and sometimes he finds it useful. My friends all think I'm a little freaky, but it's a memory thing. I like to watch the openings and credits of shows, and it makes me crazy when the opening doesn't show the person's face with their name. How can I link them together if I don't see them together?

We used to play this little game with my old roommate, where we would name a celebrity and she would try to tell us what movie or tv show they were in. While I am great at this, Kristen is not. She would crack us up trying to remember where she had seen George Clooney and she thought Cameron Diaz was a baseball player. She would entertain us many nights with this game.

Anyway, I was happy to see all these actors that I once liked in other things doing so well in Ghost Whisperer. JLH has grown up and Ayisha Tyler is way less annoying when she isn't trying to steal Ross from Rachel. And David Conrad? Well, let's just say I'll add him to the list of David's that are my boyfriends.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

two great announcements

Ok, so the first big thing to let you know is that I get to keep my job! Hallelujah and Amen! Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus. I won't be poor come summer. I know what I'll be doing come fall.

I walked in to the principal's office today to ask questions about the summer reading program and how it needed to be set up. I had told him before that I would set it up even if someone else took over. I said as much again today. Then he said "you'll be here." So casually. I gave him this blank look, like, "you're gonna need to repeat that." And he did. Amazing words. I think I jumped up and down a little. Yippee. I am thrilled beyond words!

Well, not completely beyond words. I still have enough to talk to you all. I'm just so excited. Now the hubby and I can get back to trying to make babies. Now that I know I'll have health insurance, I can procreate like a bunny.

The second big announcement is the winner of my book contest. Thanks to all who entered. My very impartial, cute husband, Fantasy Geek, drew the name for me. The winner is Lula, from Lulaville! She's been having technical difficulties lately, so hopefully this will cheer her up. Send me an address Lula and this book will be on it's way to wherever you are. Now, remember, all you losers, um, runners-up, by entering the drawing, Lula agreed to read the book and then give it away again. So you will have a second chance! Don't you feel better now? Wipe those tears, gals.

One last thing to mention. I came home today and my husband had moved the furniture all around. He put the couch from the front room in the back room, and vice versa. Did he take any before pics? No. He shall be shunned for a period of five....minutes. I still love the guy. Can't blame him for not thinking of it.

Ta ta, ya'll. Oh, and because I am in such a good mood, I'm posting one of the not-so-great pics for you to laugh at. Straddling the tree? What was I thinking?

And, David Cook is my new boyfriend. No matter what happens tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

tuesday randomness

Ok, so you've already noticed that I have a new blog design, and isn't it wonderful? Yes, it is. It's ok, you can go ahead and be jealous. I'll allow it. I love it, and I'm glad you all do too. Ps. I stole today's title from HoneyBee...hope you don't mind.

This post will be filled with all sorts of random things that go together, sort of. Let's start with...
  • The name. Well, I asked you all for help and didn't get many ideas. Then I thought about how I am obsessed with trees. And how these past couple of months have been a time of growing and stretching myself out in the Lord. Thus, "out on a limb" was born.
  • That picture of me. My sweet husband who supports this blogging of mine was coerced into taking that photo. There is this really cool tree near a neighborhood park that has a natural bench built into it. See below.
We drive past it all the time and I thought it would be awesome to take my picture there and be "out on a limb" so we drove out there. Not even thinking about how high off the ground it would be or the fact that it isn't as close to the park as we thought. Or that even though I have lost 10 pounds and feel skinny in my head, Heidi Klum I am not. In this shot I was standing because I wasn't sure how to jump up on the limb as it was really bumpy and I couldn't shimy up in my shoes. Eventually we found a rock that gave me the extra 6 inches I needed to jump. Then we almost got attacked by geese with their little chicks. All for you all. And, oh my, you need to imagine the ones I didn't post and how silly I look.
  • The book drawing. You have until tomorrow afternoon to get it in. I will draw a name Wednesday night and post it on Thursday. Enter to win, folks.
  • The aforementioned husband has his own blog now...Fantasy Geek. As he is a Fantasy Geek. He plays Fantasy Football and a host of other imaginary sports. His first post mentions me in a very good light. Check it out.

I think that's all I needed to mention. Who knows? If I think of something later, I will let cha know. I am in the midst of a project, so I must go work on it now. I will share the details later!

yes, I changed the name!

Looky here, all my readers. I am all bright and shiny and new this morning. No, you aren't at the wrong site, this is still me. I am still here, but I have a new look and a new name. I will post a longer explanation about the new name later, but I have to thank the Mommy at Peekaboo Designs for putting this whole thing together. I was very picky, as it turned out, and she was great at working with me to get exactly what I wanted. I think it is wonderful, and I hope you do as well.

Show me some love, people, and leave a comment!

Oh, and if you have me on your blogrolls, please edit the name for me so people won't be confused if they click.

Rise and Shine dear one...

Good morning! OK, I'll pause while you rub your little eyes and realize you are not dreaming. It is finally complete! Woooohooooo! I think it fits you perfectly but I'm curious to hear what those who know you in real life think. As you know, I am leaving this morning on a business trip with the hubby. If there is anything you would like to change let me know and we'll take care of it next week. Enjoy your new design.

your fairy blogmother

Saturday, May 17, 2008

powerful words, a contest and a challenge

Several weeks ago I picked up this book at Target and flipped through it. I was drawn in by the foreward that the families had written about why they decided to share their story. It was so beautifully worded, so carefully phrased, so miraculous in it's content. I didn't have the money to buy it that day, but when someone gave me a giftcard, I went back and bought it.

I was immersed for two days in their story.

It is amazing. It is shocking. It is Jesus.

I remember seeing an article in People Magazine about the curious story: two blond girls from the same college are in a van that is hit by a truck that crosses the median. One girl dies. One girl is badly injured and in a coma. The family of the deceased trusts that the ID near her was the correct ID, and they mourn their lost daughter. Six weeks later, after the girl in the coma wakes up, and is asked her name, she tells them. She is the wrong girl. There was a mix-up. An unfortunate mix-up. A heartbreaking mix-up.

There aren't many words to describe what these families went through. I can't even imagine what it is like to bury your daughter, only to have her miles away in a hospital. The book tells the story so gently. You feel it. I cried. Several times. But not for the reason you think. This excerpt tells it better than I can (I have no permission to print this, but I don't think they'll mind.)

"It is a horrible thing to lose a child. Yet in the midst of the worst of tragedies, God reveals Himself. These are not just words we use to keep our spirits up during difficult days. We have experienced this revealation for ourselves. Above all things, this is the message we hope to convey. This is a story about God's grace and His love for us that transcends the worst this world can dish out.

None of us are in any way unique or special. We are simply average people who have accepted God's love for us, demonstrated through Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. God has proven Himself faithful to each of us, giving comfort and strength when in our humanness we were in great need. And His faithfulness has deepened our trust in Him.

The story of how two girls, Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, could be mistaken for each other may seem fantastic and unbelievable, yet that's not the real story here. This book is really about how God has sustained two families through His grace.

We hope after all that is said on these pages, you see it is really all about Him."

Are you choked up? I get a little misty just typing it. It is an amazing book about life, loss and putting your trust in the maker of all things. What an unique opportunity to use your life to witness.

That all being said, I will do a drawing for the book to pass it on. I request that after you read it, you do a drawing and pass it on. Keep it going, I challenge you. I think many of you will be touched by the words on these pages and want to share it as well. You will. Post a comment if you are interested. I will draw a name next Wednesday and announce the winner.

If you win, buy a box of tissues and clear your calendar.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

out of lurkdom

I love comments. Who doesn't? I think it is nice to have other women support me in what I cheesily call my "time of need." These past couple of months have been hard, really hard. My job has been a challenge, the baby plan has not gone smoothly and my heart has been broken. Into many, many pieces. I like a plan and this has not gone according to what I planned out. I posted about a pregnant friend, and it was all about me. I hurt. And I want. I have nursery furniture picked out. I have made friends at my job, and I do it well. I am the one without confidence, self-esteem and joy.

Notice how many times I've said "I."

Many, many times. Too many.

But God doesn't care about "I." Well, that isn't true. He cares about me. He does. But he wants me to submit to His will. He wants me to prayerfully consider His plan for my life. He wants me to become the person He destined me to be. He knows my heart, and He knows it hurts.

But what touched me the most was a comment I got from Leigh. It was so sweet of her to come out from Lurkdom to leave me these kind words. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this (she did post it, so I assume it's public.)

I am a lurker and I never comment---ever. I am not even sure how I ended up on your blog but you must know that God is good and has a plan for your life. I tried to have a baby for 7 years ( We named him Samuel) I have had every imaginable infertility thing done but nothing really worked. I know everything you are feeling. My advice is simple... love the life you are living because when you become a mother (and you will) you won't get to do the spontaneous things for a while. Take classes or workshops so you can impart wisdom to your children. Bible studies, wood working, gardening.......etc. We became pregnant after another laparoscopy and I had finally said no more. We prayed prostrate on the our living room floor and said, "Your will be done." And we meant it..before I really meant my will. We began to search adoption options or just being really good "youth church" people. A little while later, we were pregnant. I have endometriosis and I don't ovulate well..I hope this helps. Samuel is 8 and Abigail is 6.

I can't tell you that my life will ever be perfect. Or that I will have babies. I want to have babies, and my personality strives for perfection, but that might not be His will for my life. I have to learn to let go and let Him do His work in my life. I have to learn whatever lesson I can from this, trust in Him, and move on. I have to live and breathe, pray and learn and be still in Him.

So, thank you Leigh, for sharing your life and story. I was so touched by your words. You have been there, and know how it feels. I'd like to think we'd be friends if we knew each other in real life.

Yes, I'd like to think so. Ha ha.

back to the future

Today Emily posted about how she and I worked together when she was a sign language interpreter. It was my first teaching job and I was really excited. Emily and I were both the same age and we were starting there together. I really liked teaching high school. I had fun when I was attending high school, and this was fun for me. I got involved in all sorts of things...I coached the flag group, helped plan proms and took kids abroad. It was a great couple of years.

Anyway, I thought I would posts some pics from that time in my life. Now, these are pictures of pictures and area little fuzzy. And I really had loooooooonnnng hair back then.

And ugly glasses. They were so big and pale. They really didn't compliment my skin at all. I kind of miss having all that hair sometimes, but I think I went through several mousse bottles a month.
Here is our friend Amanda from England. She is with me at one of the Proms I planned. She was so excited to go because they don't have Proms in England and she had seen them in all sorts of movies. I have no idea why she is holding a balloon to her head. This is also when I learned that I don't look good in strapless dresses.

Another year, another Prom. I actually really liked this dress and it was dirt cheap. I got it after christmas in a holiday clearance. It was really comfortable. All these girls with me are some of my favorite students. Notice how they are showing waaaay more chest than me?
This dress didn't photograph so well, but I loved it and still have it. I might wear it again someday, and who knows where. My hair was funky at this one...
Here is the pic you have been waiting for...Emily and I. We thought we were being so cute. I'm not sure where she found the dress...I think in the back of her closet. From high school. And it still fit. I loved that silver skirt. We had so much fun that night! The teachers were actually a fun group and we all got on the dance floor with the kids.

I have lots of pics of Emily and me from those two years we worked together, and I was sad when she left. Luckily, I only posted the ones where she and I looked cute! There are a couple I'm sure she rather I burn. And others I need to burn for myself.

High school was much more fun the second time around!

Monday, May 12, 2008

marriage counseling, courtesy of Sealy

Now that my door is hung up above the bed, I am loving my bedroom even more. I have always loved my bed, but I haven't named it. I don't really think of my bed as someone to name. I do love it though. So very dearly. Here is the our love story-fairy tale style.

Once upon a time there was a fair maiden (fair as in pale.) She slept alone in a full size bed and was very content. Then the maiden met a courageous knight and fell in love. The knight slept in a large bed and he was also very happy. After a short courtship, the knight proposed to the maiden and they were married. And they lived happily ever after...well almost.

You see, each night as the fair maiden drifted off to sleep in the arms of her brave knight, she would begin to hear this strange sound. A loud sound. A sound right by her ear. The knight snored. Loudly. She would scoot to the edge of the bed, tossing and turning to get to sleep. Nothing would help. The knight sought out several remedies from the local apothecary, but none could stop the snoring. The maiden was grouchy, and sleep deprived. Something must be done.

After months of sleepless nights, the maiden and the knight moved to a new castle. One with a large bedchamber. The maiden decided to look at new beds and bought a king-sized bed. The first night in the new bed, the maiden was able to cuddle with the knight, but then scoot away when the snoring started. She was able to turn him over and lessen the noise. The maiden was happy and pleasant once more. She slept peacefully in her new bed, and the kingdom was saved.

Seriously folks, that bed saved us. I was not sleeping and I suddenly understood how women could stab their husbands while they slept. I need a good seven to eight hours a night in order to be cheerful during the day and it was not happening. When we bought that bed, I was so much more comfortable and the husband was a little bit further away from me when we were sleeping. When we were crammed into a small bed, I couldn't escape the snoring.

Do any of you have random things that helped you as a couple? My parents drove places separately because they could never agree on when to leave. My dad was early and my mom was always late. So, in order to stop arguing, they decided to drive at different times. Us kids could choose whomever we wanted to go with and the solution seemed to suit everyone. The bed helps my husband and I. What helps you?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

50th post!!! (a project to share)

Several weeks ago, the Nester posted about her favorite paint color, and as she was showing pictures I saw one of a door that she hung above her couch. Now, her door is a 6 paneled one with two tones on it, and it looked really nice in her house (maybe it wasn't her house, maybe she just had the pic, I don't know.) Anyway, I was inspired! When we remodeled our kitchen, we took down a wall that had two doors in it. I thought I could combine that door idea with another project that I saw on tv.

Here is the door in its original state. It was this brown stain on one side and white paint on the other. I wanted the brown side since I was going to paint it chocolate brown. I cleaned it off, took off the doorknob and hinges, then painted it. The brown paint I chose is called "chocolate sprinkles" and it is Behr paint from Home Depot.
I found some French words that I really liked and wrote them in a script across the door with a white colored pencil. Then I took some white primer that we had leftover from the remodel and traced over the pencil. Then I let it dry.
It's hard to tell with this light, but I then took some of the brown paint and mixed it with water and drug that wash over the words. Then I rubbed it off somewhat to give it an antique-y look. Then I mixed some gold sparkle paint that I had from the craft store (Folk Art Metallic Champagne) with some water and drug that across the whole thing. There is a fine sparkle to the door that glows in the light.
We hung it in the HUGE EMPTY space I had above my king-sized bed. We have had that bed for almost 4 years and I have never been able to find something that didn't seem dwarfed by the bed. The door was a great solution! Thanks, Nester!

Oh, the words? I know you want to know about the words. Well, they are a French translation of some verses from 1 Corinthians 13. The love chapter, right? I thought it would be appropriate to have something romantic above our bed, but I didn't want to have the words written in English. That might have been a little cheesy. This is the part I saw on tv. A woman on TLC's Moving Up had the same French verses painted on the wall above their bed. I took two ideas and made them mine. It cost me $8 for the quart of chocolate paint, and two lunches at CiCi's for the husband and his friend to get it put up today.

I am so excited about how this turned out! I actually have another door in the attic that I might need to use on my dining room wall that is huge and empty (I have posted about that before.) If I ever do anything with it, I share that too.

Oh, Happy Mother's Day! I heartedly wish that to all of you out there! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

feelin' blue

This week has actually been a pretty good week, with the exception of one tidbit. A woman at my work is pregnant. Now, don't get me wrong, that really is good news. For her. And I am happy for her. Really. I am. Don't I sound happy? No? I'll work on it.

I know that she didn't get pregnant to hurt me. I know that she didn't announce it to rub it in my face. I don't even know if she knows that I'm having trouble with infertility. I know all that. But it hurts me just a little. A little.

It is stupid and I am being overly sensitive. It really is great news for her, and I know it will be fun to watch her plan and pick out names and she really will be a cute pregnant woman. But I want it to be me. I am jealous. I want to be the one thinking about names and maternity leave and baby clothes and nursery decor. I want it to be me so badly.

Here is the kicker...they only tried for one month. ONE MONTH. ONE MONTH.

Pray for me. Please.

I get caught up in the want. I hurt and get jealous and I sin. I covet. I forget that I have what I need. That the Lord has provided me with a husband, a family, a house, a car, two dogs. And I am asking for more. For what I want. It is such an overwhelming want at times. Last week we went around to yard sales and all we saw we baby clothes and kids things. It seems to surround me and I see reminders everywhere. I want.

Help me to release the want and live in Him. Help me to see that I am already blessed beyond belief and that anything else would be gravy. Help me to graciously congratulate this friend and be a help to her these next seven months. Help me to know that it will be in Your time, Lord, not in mine. Let me see clearly.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

my magnolia

I have never introduced you to Maggie. She lives in the front yard. She is proud, majestic, aromatic and beautiful. Maggie is my Magnolia tree and she is one of the reasons I love this house so much. Our previous house had no trees, but this house had Maggie. She stood proudly to greet you as you drove up. She welcomed children to her branches. She sheltered many animals from the weather. Maggie is a neighborhood legend. Ahhh, here she is...

Can you see the house? If you squint and look to the left of the tree, near the white car. You can just make out the roof line. Maggie is quite beautiful, but Maggie was large. She had not been on a diet in YEARS. Her skirts came all the way down to the ground, and she was growing other baby Maggies under there.

If you notice, the picture was taken from the side and across the street. You had to be that far away to get all of Maggie. If you stood in front of the house, you couldn't SEE the house. Maggie was taking all the attention for herself. Not to mention, she was kinda a traffic hazard. She blocked our view from backing out the driveway...not on purpose of course, but Maggie hadn't been taken care of very well. We knew Maggie would need some help.

Here she is now. My blessed husband and his chainsaw went to work on my Maggie. Now, I listed the reasons Maggie needed to be trimmed, and there were several. Our safety among them. But my heart was broken for Maggie on that day. I came home and cried. Yes, cried. I apologized to the tree. My husband stared at me in amazement, but I have told you people, I LOVE trees. There is just something about lifting your hands, er, branches to heaven all day that makes me appreciate trees.

Anyway, Maggie now has some new plants growing underneath her. She provided me with blossoms this summer and shade this fall. Maggie is still tall and proud, but now she is wearing shorter skirts. She has become a modern woman, er, tree.

I bring new meaning to the term "tree hugger" don't I?